Ditch the Diet! The Skinny on Nutrition

Ditch the Diet! The Skinny on Nutrition

sweet cerealShedding pounds, slimming down and getting fit for an event (like beach season or Prom 2012!) is not an unpopular trend. Atkins, HCG, South Beach and other fad diets offer ways to help lose weight fast, but they’re not the key to fitting into that bandeau bikini for long. We caught up with nutrition expert Tara Ostrowe for tips on getting fit so it lasts.
Balance it out
You don’t have to starve yourself or participate in one of those crazy fad diets for a quick get fit solution for summer. “Watch portion sizes for balance in food,” says Tara Ostrowe, dietitian and nutrition counselor of New York City.

Ostrowe says diets are often too restrained and can make you gain weight faster after you go off the diet. Instead, monitor how much you eat at meals and what you eat. This will help you get fit and stay fit. Slow and steady may test your patience, but you will see results.

Cut it out

To speed up the process, cutting down fatty foods will help.
“Stay away from high fat foods like burgers, pepperoni and fried anything,” Ostrowe warns. “Also be careful of sugary drinks like soda, frozen beverages or coffee that are high in calories.”

Avoiding the triple threat of high calorie, high carb, high fat in foods will help achieve a healthy and fit lifestyle. “Things like turkey, grilled chicken and fish are better choices,” Ostrowe says.
Opting for grilled chicken in the caf. can help cut down on calorie intake. According to Ostrow, a burger can add up to 400 calories or more (depending on what you have on it), but grilled chicken is only about 150 to 200 calories.

Can I get vegetables with that?
Another thing to be mindful of are the sides that come with meals.
“Some sides like chips, nachos, fries, cookies, milkshakes and fried rice, could add up to an extra 300 to 600 calories,” says Ostrowe.
So ditch the chips for fruits and veggies. “Have snacks in between meal times, like carrots or bell peppers.” she says.

Grabbing a handful of carrots rather than chips can make a big difference in balancing out your diet. Don’t like plain vegetables? Use a light dressing to dip it in.

Another option is to add more grains to your diet. “High fiber foods and whole grains will keep a person more full longer,” says Ostrowe.

Back to the basics

Grab a water bottle and aim for 8 glasses of water.
“During the day carry around fruit and water,” says Ostrowe. “Sometimes when you are hungry it is because you are dehydrated and just thirsty.”

Still have cravings for chocolate, chips or other junk food? According to Ostrowe, it might be because you are not eating enough of whole grains or fruits or because you are stressing out (like about making a great impression at a special event).

“If you do have a craving try to have it in a small portion, eat it slowly, enjoy it and try not to let yourself feel guilty about it,” says Ostrowe.

Ready, set, glam!
You don’t have to give up your favorite foods to get fit, just make sure you have them in moderation and balance it out with exercise. So ditch the fad diets, for a more healthy option of adding water, fruits, grains and vegetables.
-Kimberly Turner

Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt